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We had a day of note yesterday. Lunga left home just after 06:30 to start her day at home affairs trying to organise an ID for one of our residence. This lady has no food in her house and depends on alms from her neighbours and the meals we provide. She qualifies for a grant but because she does not have an ID the application cannot be submitted.
This is an everyday problem we have to deal with and more often than not we are faced with endless problems when our patients pass away and we do not have documents for them. Most of them are also illegal immigrants and leave children behind without traceable extended families to take care of them. These children stay with us until we can get them registered and have them placed in orphanages. The sad part is that siblings are often split up as the demand way exceeds the resources. It is our hope and vision to have our own cluster foster care farm by the end of next year so we will be able to take care of these children ourselves instead of them becoming more statistics.
My day started just after 05:00 dropping the family of at their jobs so we could have the car. Just before 08h00 Abie and I met Pastor Elias at the Crèche for our first meeting. We handed over the donations given by Matt and Tammy and discussed the options of registering the Crèche under OJSA. The emotion of the moment was one too much for Abie and the man of GOD could not stop the tears.
There was a major improvement in the housekeeping, however, we still have to do something about the toilets (a hole in the ground) and the kitchen . They have managed to buy this little 2m x 2m hut hoping to turn it into a kitchen. This will be one of our fund-raising projects in the new year. The toilet has been cleaned up nicely but still not ideal. Because we were so early most of the children had not arrived yet but still there were 25 in this room which is not much bigger than 3m x3m.
After our meeting with Pastor Elias we rushed off to a meeting with the Community Care workers. From there we went to see our patient at the Johannesburg Hospital on the other side of town. I was called out to her house on Sunday afternoon where I found her unconscious. She had no pulse and I could not wake her up. I called Mark, our paramedic from EMS, who has become our right hand in emergency situations, and we managed to stabilise her. We then called an ambulance who took her to the hospital in Boksburg where she stayed until Tuesday, without any treatment administered whatsoever, as their CT scanner was out of order and they were not certain what the diagnosis was. They did suspect that she had a stroke and explained to us that we had saved her life. Miraculously the doctor who admitted her managed to convince the Johannesburg Hospital to do a scan and so she was transferred there. To cut a long story short she was diagnosed as having a brain aneurysm which ruptured and is currently in high care.
In the meantime Lunga had brought the ladies to my place where they sorted the donations received from the generous audience of Radio Pulpit. Whilst the ladies finished up Lunga and I went to our local SAPS to ask for help with transport. Unfortunately they did not have a driver available so we rushed back picked the ladies up so they could go home and feed their families. The sun was beginning to go down.
Taking a well deserved break we discussed the distribution of the donations and how we would go about it.
It was much later that Lunga phoned me to say she had organised transport and they would come and fetch and drop off the beds at the two families we identified and the clothing parcels would be delivered at a later stage. Thobeka helped load the truck with Simpiwhe, 18 months old; sitting very securely on mom’s back giving us the occasional giggle as he watched us loading. He and two of Thobeka’s own children arrived from the Eastern Cape to be with their mom for Christmas. She did not want to go home because the need in the camp is great and with the festive season upon us, it is bound to get worse.
There was not enough space for the ladies to sit in the truck so hubby and I took them in our car and off we went. When we got to the camp the fires in the recycling area were burning and we gagged on the smell and the smoke. I could not wait to get out of there. What amazed me the most is the attitude and commitment of these ladies! Their ability to laugh and joke and still have enough left to care for their neighbour. The 2nd most important commandment of GOD in action!
With tears stinging my eyes we said a quick goodbye and left. It was way after 21h00.
My GOD how awesome to be associated with them! They are so much more than just colleagues; they are my sister’s! Bless them my FATHER in JESUS Name!
When we got home, the child from one of our youth groups whom I will call “TJ”, was waiting for me. He was the young man who was diagnosed HIV+ a few weeks ago. He needed to chat and he came to tell me he was going “home” (describing their family homes mostly in the Eastern Cape) for the holidays. As usual he came to sit very close to me. Hugging and cuddling him like I normally do with the little ones, his not to assertive response was; “you can’t be doing that mother I am a big boy.” Yet I could see the appreciation and love in his eyes. I could not help but notice how much weight he had lost in the past few weeks. How close and how precious this child has become to our family. Hubby spent quite some time with him chatting and making jokes, whilst trying to revive TJ’s broken cell phone. Eventually they gave up and after sharing a meal with us he took TJ home. Home being a flee and rat invested little room inside what we call “Little Nigeria.” It is the local “drug Mecca,” run by the drug merchants and prostitutes. The prostitutes doing what they do to keep their families alive and the drug merchants exploiting the situation, allowed TJ into their closed and “protected” world as he also is one of the statistics of these circumstances.
While waiting for hubby to come home I sat for quite some time listening to my granddaughter and my great-grandson playing. The emotion of the day; the privilege of watching my grandchildren play in so much light (having electricity); being close to my family and wondering how TJ’s mother is going to feel once he tells her (no, he still has not told her); was mixed with excruciating back ache so a hot bath was next on the agenda. As I sank into the bath I allowed the details of the day to run through my mind and realised that no amount of words can describe what I saw and experienced this day! Thankfulness, indescribable, welled up and spilled over as the tears ran down my face! Never in my life had a bath meant so much to me. I was able to come home and have a bath, washing away the sweat and exhaustion of the day. My colleagues went home to a dark, dust filled, rat infested shack with barely enough water to drink let alone have a wash, breathing the fumes of the burning plastic, knowing that tomorrow it will put food on someone’s table.
Hubby warmed the bean bag for my back and as I lay down on my bed and the pain began to subside my last thoughts were “if only we could do more. This is nowhere near enough! Please help us LORD!”
Where did everybody go
when he ripped my body apart
and took my soul with him? Where did everybody go
when the only vocabulary I
knew was uttered in curses?
Where did everybody go
when they destroyed my mind
with filth and perversion?
Where did everybody go
when the sparkle in my eyes
turned to black holes?
Where did everybody go
when I was left outside?
Where did everybody go
when I had to kill my baby
because I could not feed another mouth?
How do you expect me to grasp
and understand the Word of GOD
if my stomach is being ripped apart with hunger?
How are you going to help me
if you do not know where I live?
How can you even begin to understand
where I am coming from
if you do not have the time to listen to my story?
How am I supposed to listen to you
when my circumstances are drowning me?
“Poverty is a curse and a sign of disobedience!”
preach it my brother, as you say, “it is the Word of GOD,”
Don’t forget to add, “what you have done unto the least of Me,
you have also done unto Me.” That also is the Word of GOD!
You tell me to pray!
What do I say to a GOD that is so far removed from my mind
and my heart because I have no idea how to relate to Him
let alone trust and have faith in him?
“Choose life” you say!
Whatever I touch turns to mud!
Whoever I touch ends up hating me!
Whenever I try to protect they run from me!
My tears have filled rivers;
My pain as tormenting and violent as the currents;
My soul but an empty space!
(In honour to all the hurting souls who allowed us the honour of being part of their lives!)
You can rip my heart out;
You can ignore me;
You can humiliate me with your lack of love;
You can insult me with your neglect;
You can bruise my ego; You can humour me;
You can cut down to the very core of me with your looks of disgust;
You can challenge me with your aggression;
You can keep turning your back on me in bed;
You can seek the attention of other women;
You can even go out of your way to please them;
You can treat my children with contempt while keeping a smile on your face;
You think I’m blind, and insult my intelligence;
You claim to love me but do not know how to;
You do not know me!
If you did you would never have underestimated me.
You can do all these things but you cannot touch my spirit!
I am a woman created by GOD!
Even though my heart, mind and body may pay the price of being your wife,
you will never own me.
My GOD already holds the ownership;
HE has already paid the price!
By Stephanie Frerk
Posted on December 14, 2011 by Stephanie Frerk
My chair is right next to the balcony door where I have a view over the small open space in front of our building. It is a glass door joining the window and being on the first floor it gives one quite a nice view. I am watching the rain, falling much softer now and enjoying the coolness of this beautiful morning. The birds seem to be noisier almost as if they are celebrating a secret we will never know about. It must have something to do with the rain I’m sure… The cat is lying in his basket on top of the PC desk with his nose in the air. Twitching and smelling and stretching his neck he also appears to be enjoying and testing out the fresh smell in the breeze coming through the open window. The trees are dancing in the wind drinking every drop of moisture being poured over their leaves. How beautiful! Enjoying this opera only nature can provide I begin to wonder…
The beauty of nature. The dancing trees. The symphony of the birds… Is that what my colleagues in the squatter camp are experiencing right now? I doubt it! It is more like everyone running around finding buckets to catch the water pouring through the leaks in roof. Clutching her lower abdomen mom ignores the demands from her bladder. No time to conquer the mud pool to the hole in the ground outside serving as a toilet. She begins scraping the water and mud out of the shack with the piece of cardboard from the box she picked up on the rubbish dump a few meters away from their dwelling. I can hear her shouting to the children to strip the blankets of the makeshift beds and wrap themselves in it so that they could dodge the water siphoning through the cracks and joints of the pieces of scrap building materials they used to build the shack with. Thank goodness the schools are closed or the children would be facing some institutionalised disciplinarian for being late.
As soon as the rain stops mom takes stock of the damage. The maize meal will have to be thrown into a bowl of some sort to dry out in the sun if and when it comes out. The packet it was in is drenched and ripped by the rats taking advantage of the situation as always. No money for containers… the price of one container could feed the family for a day. The boxes under the bed storing the clothes are also drenched so it will all have to be rewashed and dried on the roof of the shack. Washing lines are for the more fortunate and those who have jobs. The white church blouse now looks like an explosion of colours… who can afford colour fast clothing?
“Food… I must find food; the children have to eat…”
I cried all day because I felt sad
Sad because felt pain.
A pain that hurt me so bad, it even felt like a needle piercing through my heart
I cried all day because I had dreams;
dreams that you came and shattered into little pieces like a glass falling of a table.
I cried all day because I thought you hated me
Hated me for all the wrong reasons,
reasons that were not even there but seemed like excuses for you to dislike me.
I sit here right now and wonder to myself, why me, what have I ever done to you
But I also sit here and think to myself that you won’t make me feel sad anymore
You won’t make me feel pain again, you won’t break my heart;
I will put the pieces back together and live my dreams
I won’t worry about what you think about me, because what you think doesn’t matter,
It’s what I think of myself.
I cried all day, but now I have a smile on my face,
Not because of you, but because I felt a comforting hug that made me feel better.
I felt a comforting hug from GOD ALMIGHTY that lasts forever!
Dawnview High School
Today was one of those days! Not enough hours in the day! Not enough energy and not enough money! So much to do so little time and resources. I never had time to cook so we stopped of at the local fish and chips shop. I waited in the car whilst hubby went and did the honours. Hoping for a minutes peace I looked up and there in front of me was an old lady pushing a miniature shopping trolley. She stops and puts her hand deep into her pockets to fish for what appeared to be a hand full of change. Looking at her my thoughts do their normal wondering and I realise – this must be someone’s mother – what is she doing walking around this late in the day and no one with her? – She should not be alone. She walks up to my car window and stands for a few minutes then picks up the courage and asks me for R1.00 In her hand she was holding R4.00 “I want to buy something,” was the answer to my question, when I asked what she wanted to do with R5.00 “I want to buy a cooldrink.” There is no way she would be able to buy a cooldrink with R5.00 so I gave her the change I had in my bag.If only I had enough to pack her up and take her home. If only I had enough to keep her and teach her what it would be like to be surrounded by people who care. How many more of them are out there? GOD in heaven, comfort them, in JESUS Name.